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May 19, 2014 - Los Angeles, Calif. – International Medical Corps is deploying teams to the Balkans after massive flooding that has killed 47 people and displaced tens of thousands more. The heaviest rains in more than a century sparked floods across Bosnia and Serbia, leading to the evacuations of more than 60,000 people. Up to two million people could potentially be affected.
Rainfall also caused more than 3,000 landslides in Bosnia and Herzogovina, prompting a landmine warning as 120,000 unexploded mines remain. Obrenovac town in Serbia, about 20 miles southwest of Belgrade, is among the hardest hit, with the entire town being evacuated amid warnings of more flooding.
International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Teams deploying to the region include experts in logistics as well as water, sanitation and hygiene. Its partners in the region are also mobilizing large shipments of food and other supplies.
Major needs among the displaced include: food, baby food, diapers, clothing, water, medications, tents, generators, and water purification sets. Health authorities in Bosnia and Serbia have also warned of possible outbreak of infectious diseases such as enterocolitis, typhoid and hepatitis as the temperatures have risen.
International Medical Corps, which has offices in Split, Croatia, first deployed to the Balkans in 1993 in response to war and ethnic cleansing, establishing emergency medicine training, ambulance systems, mobile clinics and mental health programs. Likewise during the Kosovo conflict, the organization set up operations in Kosovo, as well as in neighboring Macedonia and Albania.
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Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning hardest-hit populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.